South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford may agree with President Trump “90% of the time,” but that didn’t stop voters on Tuesday from choosing state Rep. Katie Arrington, a political neophyte who was backed by the president in the last few hours of the race, over the Republican incumbent in the district’s primary election.
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Despite that, Sanford said he doesn’t regret not trying to further cozy up to the White House -- and warned his fellow lawmakers of swearing blind fealty to the president.
“I think we want to be very careful about pledges of allegiance to anything other than the flag and the constitution,” he said during a FOX Business interview with Neil Cavuto. “That’s sort of a bit of what played out, unfortunately, in this race.”
On Tuesday night, just a few hours before the polls closed, Trump tweeted that “Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA.” He threw his weight behind Arrington instead.
That’s part of a larger dynamic playing out in congressional races across the country, Sanford said. Are you with Trump, or not?
And it wasn’t the only race that a Trump tweet seemed to send reverberations through. Republicans across the board embraced candidates who mirror the president, including a conservative firebrand who was nominated for the Senate in Virginia.
“I think what we want to be careful about as a party is to say, wait a minute, if we agree on 90% of the stuff, we’re out there,” he said. “In fact, I fully supported every item of the president’s agenda with the votes I took in the House.”